Product Reviews:

The SST fishing jacket remains as our top favorite when it comes to all-around versatile rainwear. This jacket is designed specifically for fly fisherman. With the 3 layer Reversed Stretch Cloth fabric and H2No waterproof breathable barrier this jacket will keep you dry. Some Key features: fleece lined handwarming pockets, protective cuffs to prevent line snag, hidden rod holder, waterproof zipper, a hood designed to fit your hat, secure flaps on pockets, and more.  Check our the website for more info or check out the Patagonia Store On Grand Ave. in St. Paul. The only reason we gave this a 4 out of 5 is
due to the is a spendy jacket.
Here is a list of  some of the products we have personally tested and or reviewed.  We have ranked them using a 1-5 yarn fly ranking, with 5 being the best we have reviewed.  Though most of us here have been steelheading for nearly three decads, please keep in mind that this is just our opinion on the equipment that we have tested.
Some of our Top Picks:

The Original RODRULE measuring decal  -  We have been using Rodrules since 2000.  There are several reasons why we prefer the Rodrule over other knock-offs.  The main is the quality of the decal material.  The manufacture did not take a short cut here, they are using a clear 3M flexible, self-adhesive vinyl.  As long as you follow the installation instructions these thing stick, conform to the compounding curves and remain flexible.  Are main concern was if they would mess with the action of a rod... no chance.  We highly recommend these to all North Shore Steelheader.  It is a great way to measure your catch before you release. Oh, and the whole thing is manufactured and packaged here in Minnesota! 

Some hints from our Pro Staff: measure from your butt section up to the actual exposed rod and subtract that from the RODRULE (cut it off) then apply the remaining RODRULE.  This way you can measure from the butt of your rod rather than above the real.

R. L. Winston Boron IIX Fly Rod: I just received our BIIX 9' 6" 8wt and 10' 8wt's and what a couple fantastic sticks. These are the fly rods to have for that return trip to Alaska for steelhead and silvers. A true gem for the Northshore steelhead here in Minnesota and Wisconsin's Brule River. Sweet soft tip with lots of backbone through the mid and butt section. Perfect for highsticking and using indicators. Lots of lifting power and all of this below the 4oz mark. You will love owning this Winston, I guarantee it!!!3-08 John Fehnel - Great Lakes Fly Company

click to enlarge
 Polarized sun glasses:  I know we have already reviewed glasses but these SLYDE POLARIZED glasses are awesome.  New for '08, they were tested hard all year.  Wiley X are lightweight and just about bullet proof... ask a solider if you do not believe us!  We really liked the Slyde model tested (pictured) for the added mirrored surface and exceptional polarized lenses and lightweight.  Click on the logo for a link to the Wiley website.
tested - '08, '09, '11

 Steelhead book:  Must read for any greatlake steelheader!  Matt Supinski is one of the contirespremier steelhead guides.  He knows his quary.  Though there is not a ton of info on Minnesota waters it is still very informative and chaulk full of photos, fly pateerns and diagrams.  If you only have one steelhead book in your library this should be it.

reviewed  - '07

 Just a great book:  If you are like us, you just love any book related to Minnesota Fish & fishing. This book was well written with lots of great historical facts, habitat, and culture about all our fish.  The icing on the cake to this book though is the absolutely awesome illustrations of Joseph R. Tomelleri.  More than one hundred of them!  Not only is this great artwork but it wonderfully provides defining features for identifying our fish.

The combined technical information with fine illustrations puts this book at the top of our list for Minnesota fish books.

reviewed  - '09
Please contact us if you have any products that you would like us to review or test - just keep it to steelheading related products. 


Canon Sure Shot A-1 Camera - we have been using this camera since 2001 with great results.  It is lightweight, compact, and waterproof.  The only down side is for those of you who are exclusively digital - this is a 35mm film camera.  Some great features: the Best....this baby floats!  It also has an over-sized view finder, auto focus good close -up up to about 1.5' (under water too), built in flash, and more.
Reviewed by: J. Fehnel - 2007 Pro Staff

The new E2 from Scott Fly Rods Draped in a deep forest green its subtle attractiveness belies its aggressive and fluid casting power.  Built on a fast action blank, Scott Fly Rod Company has shown itself again as a clear leader in rods with guts!!!  Moderately priced below the 500 dollar range this rod is
priced way below its worth as compared to other fly rods with
the same properties.  Try the
9' 6" 8 wt, a perfect
steelhead and salmon rod...

Try Great Lakes Fly Company for your
next Scott Rod.  

Art of Steelhead drift fishing - We have had the opportunity to review Bernie Pringles fishing class. Bernie is a seasoned Olympic peninsula Steelheader. Though this book is written for west coast drift fishing it does have some great info worth checking out that every serious Steelheader should know.  Great info on steelhead behavior, and impressive detail on hook setting and fighting fish.
We recommend this to the Lake superior Steelheader who wishes to learn more about steelhead behavior and also those thinking of traveling west to new waters.  Note that some of the info, such as the use of treble hooks and lengthily fish fighting does not apply to our single hook waters & catch and release only fishery. 
reviewed  - '08
eviewed  - 1/09

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